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Projected No. 1 pick in 2017 NBA Draft Markelle Fultz signs shoe deal with Nike

Projected No. 1 pick in 2017 NBA Draft Markelle Fultz signs shoe deal with Nike

With less than one week to go until Thursday's NBA Draft, the projected No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz now has an endorsement deal with Nike. The Upper Marlboro, Md.-native announced the news via his Twitter account:

[RELATED: Is a new John Wall shoe deal in the works?]

Exactly where Fultz plays next season is very much up in the air with the Celtics now in serious talks to trade the No. 1 pick to the Sixers. Though the terms of his Nike deal have not been released, he will likely be wearing Nike shoes for many years to come.

Fultz, 19, starred last season at the University of Washington after played his high school ball at DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md. He averaged 23.2 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three.

Nike signed Ben Simmons, last year's No. 1 pick, to a five-year deal. They could make it two years in a row with Fultz, if he goes first.

[RELATED: Celtics are getting serious about trading No. 1 pick]

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How Wizards can acquire pick (and from whom) in tonight's NBA draft

How Wizards can acquire pick (and from whom) in tonight's NBA draft

When a team doesn't have any draft picks, as is the case with the Wizards going into tonight, it can buy its way in from teams that are overloaded with too many.

The Wizards shipped their No. 52 selection to the New Orleans Pelicans late Wednesday for Tim Frazier, banking on him being better than any of the options expected to be available. League sources told CSNmidatlantic.com that they'll be actively pursuing another pick for tonight's event that begins at 7 p.m. ET.

But there are several teams that are bogged down with picks. The Philadelphia 76ers, who have the No. 1 overall selection, also have four second-rounders.

The Boston Celtics, who traded down to No. 3 overall in a deal with the Sixers a week ago, have three second-round picks. 

It's simple math for NBA teams. There's a cap on the size of the roster they can carry during the offseason (20) and when the regular season begins (15 + two "two-way" players). The offseason roster includes free agents signed after the draft -- often for little or no guaranteed money -- to attend summer league play in July and training camp in September.

The Sixers have nine guaranteed contracts for 2017-18 and four non-guaranteed deals to decide on. 

[RELATED: 5 things to know about new Wizards point guard Tim Frazier]

Not intrigued by what they saw left on the board when they were set to pick 46th in 2014, the Wizards sold their spot to the L.A. Lakers for $1.8 million. Russ Smith, Cameron Bairstow, Devyn Marble and Cory Jefferson were among the players who were drafted in the next 14 picks which speaks to how difficult it is to find a player who can actually contribute this deep. 

Frazier was available but went undrafted out of Penn State. Tyler Johnson and Langston Galloway also weren't chosen but currently are firmly planted in the NBA. 

In the 2017 collective bargaining agreement, teams were given a bump from $3.6 million to $5.1 million for cash transactions per season that a team can send or receive. This money can be used to buy picks.

In the 2016 draft, for instance, the Golden State Warriors purchased the No. 38 pick from the Milwaukee Bucks to take Patrick McCaw who came off the bench to make key plays in Game 5 of their NBA championship win earlier this month. The move cost $2.4 million.

Tonight, the Sixers' four second-round picks fall from Nos. 36-50; the Celtics own Nos. 37, 53 and 56; the Orlando Magic have Nos. 33 and 35; the Atlanta Hawks hold Nos. 41 and 60; the Utah Jazz have Nos. 42 and 55; the Knicks own Nos. 44 and 58; the Houston Rockets have Nos. 43 and 45; and the Denver Nuggets possess Nos. 49 and 51.

[RELATED: Reasons why dealing for Tim Frazier works for Wizards]

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Markelle Fultz potentially the next to continue the DeMatha to Philly pipeline

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Markelle Fultz potentially the next to continue the DeMatha to Philly pipeline

Markelle Fultz, the top overall prospect in the 2017 NBA Draft, is a native of Hyattsville, Md. who attended the DeMatha Catholic High School prior to his freshman year at the University of Washington. 

When Fultz is chosen on Thursday night, he will become DeMatha's 23rd draft pick and the fifth top-six pick in 42 years. 

Not only will Fultz be selected but he is also projected to be selected No. 1 overall in the draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. 


It may be just coincidence, but numerous athletes that have attended DeMatha have also played a professional sport for a Philadelphia team. 

Is there some sort of DeMatha to Philadelphia pipeline? It is interesting to look at. 


— Brian Westbrook: '97, Philadelphia Eagles (2002-2010)

Before becoming the two-time Pro Bowl, star running back for the Philadelphia Eagles, Westbrook was a Stag.

Once he graduated from DeMatha, Westbrook attended Villanova for college (DeMatha to Philadelphia) before being selected in the third-round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Eagles.

Westbrook is one of the all time great Eagles and has been enshrined in the team's Hall of Fame.

— Rodney McLeod: '08, Philadelphia Eagles (2016-present)

The current Eagles starting safety also attended DeMatha. 

McLeod went to the University of Virginia to continue his football career but went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft. 

His NFL career started after being picked up by the St. Louis Rams where he eventually made his way up from special teams to starting safety. 

After spending four seasons with the Rams, McLeod signed a five-year deal with the Eagles. 

— Mike Johnson: '80, Philadelphia Stars (1984)

Johnson's Philadelphia connection was not in the NFL but rather in the USFL.

Prior to playing 10 seasons in the NFL, Johnson first played for the Philadelphia Stars, a team that relocated to Baltimore the following year in 1985. 

Johnson spent two years in the USFL before being selected in the first round (No. 18 overall) by the Cleveland Browns in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft. 

Johnson a relatively successful career playing with both the Browns and Lions, being selected to two Pro Bowls and received one All-Pro selection.



— Jerami Grant: '12, Philadelphia 76ers (2014-2016)

Grant graduated DeMatha in 2012 where he would continue to play basketball at Syracuse University. 

At Syracuse, Grant averaged 12.1 points per game in two seasons before quickly entering the 2014 NBA Draft.

A rebuilding Sixers team drafted Grant in the second-round (No. 39 overall), giving the young guard an opportunity to gain some playing experience right away.

Grant spent two seasons with the Sixers and even started in 52 games in his second year.

Grant was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder to begin the 2016 season.

— Markelle Fultz: '16

The No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft was the clear top prospect throughout the NBA.

However the way Fultz got to Philadelphia wasn't as straight forward. 

Fultz elected to declare for the draft immediately after one season in college and was projected to go to the Boston Celtics, who held the top pick in the draft.

After a workout with Philadelphia, the Sixers traded with Boston for the top pick and added yet another young prospect to their team. 



— Paul Rabil: '04, Philadelphia Wings (2013)

The best lacrosse player in the world had a short stint with a Philadelphia team in his star-studded career. 

After graduating from DeMatha, Rabil attended Johns Hopkins University before being the top overall pick in the 2008 MLL draft by the Boston Cannons. 

Rabil also played in the NLL for five seasons. In his last season in the league, Rabil was traded to the Philadelphia Wings where he scored 17 goals and tallied 21 assists in 16 games. 

— David Aldridge: '83, Philadelphia Inquirer (2004-2008)

The only non athlete on the list, Aldridge is a reporter for TNT and TBS.

Prior to that, he was a reporter for NBATV and ESPN.

After his time at DeMatha, Aldridge attended American University to continue his journalism studies. 

Aldridge made a Philadelphia appearance covering the NBA and NFL for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 2004 to 2008.